- Take inspiration from the NFL Combine workouts and add one of these new gadgets to your next gym session to help you workout smarter and more effectively.
At the 2017 NFL Combine, this year’s top 300 NFL prospects will try to land a spot on a pro football team. After medical exams, movement screens, interviews and aptitude tests, players will then move onto the physical test and participate in the combine's signature seven drills: the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill, and 20- and 60-yard shuttle runs.
We've taken a shot at re-imagining the NFL Combine using modern technology, such as virtual reality, and looked how certain combine tests—such as the bench press—can be improved and made more relevant for football players by utilizing wearable tech. But what does all of this mean for you and your everyday workouts?
Below, we've rounded up the best ways that you, too, can add some intelligence to your own combine-like workouts and exercises. While most fitness trackers and wearables simply measure steps, distance and calories, many of the devices below will help make you a better athlete while in the weight room through more specific (and useful) measurements, such as reps, power, speed and more.
PUSH strength band
Available at trainwithpush.com, $289
The uses of this wearbale are similar sensors to VERT, but with a focus more on performance in the weight room. Adds extra depth to the combine bench drill, determining speed and power output, not just total reps. Read more about how and why the San Francisco 49ers have backed this wearable here.
Available at amazon.com, $99.99
Measures the movement pattern of a runner’s hipbones during exercise, and uses that to determine running biomechanics. Feedback can help fix technique and both improve endurance while lowering injury risk.
VERT Classic and G-Vert
This device calculates an athlete’s vertical leap height using accelerometers, instead of the traditional vertical pole with flags. Also can be used to determine energy use and look for movement asymmetries.
adidas Adizero 5Star 6.0 Uncaged Cleats
Weighing in at just 5.3 ounces, these are the lightest cleats in football. Anyone who breaks the 40-yard dash record at the real combine wearing these will win ownership of an island from Adidas.
Under Armour record-equipped (RE) shoes
Velociti, available at underamour.com, $139.99
These sneakers have a sensor built into the sole that records movement data every time you run. It can also determine fatigue level through a jump test, and perhaps tell you when is the best time to aim for that record.
Athos compression clothing
Available at athos.com, from $348
This uses electromyography—measuring skin surface electrical activity—to determine activation in key muscle groups. Handy to check you’re engaging the correct muscles in exercise sets.
Hexoskin smart shirt
Available a hexoskin.com, $169
Sensors embedded in the fabric can record EKG and breathing rate and volume. Those can help understand endurance and recovery, crucial factors that affect performance in a long football season.
Sensoria fitness socks
Available at amazon.com, $199
The soles of each sock have integrated pressure sensors that can be used to measure foot landing technique and cadence when running. Poor biomechanics is a key risk factor in injury.